Miami Heat – The defending champs replaced Ronny Turiaf and Eddy Curry with Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Josh Harrellson. The rich got richer this offseason. All Ray Allen, arguably the best 3 point shooter of all time, has to do is hit wide open 3′s off of LeBron and Wade double-teams. Unless Wade breaks down (I won’t even say LeBron as I’m not sure he’s human) the Eastern Conference playoffs start with a finals rematch against Boston.
Jeff Green is back
Boston Celtics – Boston replaced Ray Allen with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. They got rid of a bunch of players who weren’t contributing much (Marquis Daniels, Ryan Holins, Jermaine O’Neal and Greg Stiemsma)and replaced them with Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins, Jared Sullinger and Darko Milicic. Jeff Green is also healthy this season which will enable Boston to rest Paul Pierce more than last year. They are still going to be a great defensive team, but now have scoring options at every position. When Avery Bradley comes back, this team is super deep and clearly the #1 threat to dethrone Miami in the east. Continue reading
As part of my weekly columns on Popblerd I deceded to write my initial reactions on every team in the eastern conference:
Miami Heat – They look scary good so far. They’ve had 4 blowout victories in their first 8 games and a win without Wade OR James. It also looks like they got a steal in Norris Cole. Exactly what a team with 2 of the 5 best players in the league needs, to get really lucky in the draft on top of that. Barring any long-term serious injury to their big three, they are pretty much a lock for the conference finals.
Chicago Bulls – Boozer is playing closer to what the Bulls thought they were getting last year, Rose looks even better and they were able to steal Richard Hamilton for next to nothing. The East is a two horse race this year between Miami and Chicago.
Indiana Pacers – They made some great moves in the offseason, getting David West being the best of those moves. They have a lot of good young pieces and no terrible contracts. While not contenders this year, they will be a tough out and they are in position to make some noise in the very near future. Continue reading